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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2012;34(3):325-32. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2011.642849. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Neurocognitive correlates of nocturnal oxygen desaturation in a memory clinic population.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Previous studies suggested that sleep apnea is associated with neurocognitive impairments but did not examine populations most likely to have clinically relevant impairments. Cross-sectional, retrospective analyses were performed on 108 patients (65 with mild cognitive impairment, 43 with dementia) seen in an academic medical center. Results indicated that severity of oxygen desaturation was associated with cognitive impairments in attention and executive function domains, even after controlling for age, sex, education, and depressive symptoms. Strength of associations was influenced by cardiovascular disease. Screening for nocturnal oxygen desaturation may be a useful procedure to assess for a potentially reversible cause of cognitive impairment.

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